Brain Dead's latest collaboration with Vans was inspired by designer Kyle Ng's love for underground comic illustrations. The collection includes three different classic Vans silhouettes: the Era, Old Skool, and Slip-On. Each shoe will be available in pastel colors—pink, yellow, and green—and feature unique placements of all-over print illustrations by Kevin Harris. "Vans are some of those shoes that always look sick printed," says Ng.
This is the second time the L.A.-based art collective has linked up with Vans, the first collaboration being on their Dover Street Market exclusive checkered Sk8-Hi. The partnership is important to Ng. Ng grew up in California, and has been skating most of his life. He favors the Old Skool model, and agrees that Vans are, "a standard uniform for the west coast."
The collaboration itself pulled together some of the brand's favorite elements from past Vans collaborations, such as side wall graphics and all-over patterns. The footwear combines the premium quality of nubuck suede with the "low brow" element of an all-over graphic. "You wear Vans to fuck them up," says Ng. "I like the idea of taking the premium leather, and making it a shoe you can fuck up."
Aside from the shoes, there will also be a variety of apparel and accessories perfect for the summer. The range will include button-ups that match each shoe, two graphic T-shirts, a tote bag, and a snapback. All of these pieces will feature the same comic book-inspired illustrations seen on the shoes, as well as Brain Dead branding.
To celebrate the release, Brain Dead is hosting a release event at House of Vans Brooklyn. The two bands performing, Battles and Protomartyr, were handpicked by Ng. "It's a dream come true to learn about Vans through music and skate, and now be able to actually pick the music," he says.
The Brain Dead x Vans collection will release this Saturday, June 24 at select Vans Vault accounts and online. Retail pricing will range from $45 to $138 .